It has been a busy month in our household! Between MJ’s life Skills class, Social Skills Group, and my daughter’s activities, we all have pretty much been stretched thin. MJ has now completed the life skills class and for us the biggest accomplishment was that he now independently and consistently ties his shoelaces! That made it totally worth being as tired as we all were. I was so pleased with the class that I will probably sign him up again sometime next year and develop different goals for them to work on with him.
Today marks our official first day of Winter Break! I am so thankful that we will all have time to relax a bit and enjoy the holidays 😁.
It all started with MJ’s first high school Open House. I was eager to hear all of the information that the teacher would give us about educating our special needs kiddos. Well, I was extremely disappointed! She greeted us as we entered the classroom and sat down. She then played a video of the administrative team introducing themselves to the parents. After the video, she gave us a sheet that detailed what subject was taught on a specific day (the school operates on a block schedule). She then said, “do you have any questions for me?” I could not believe that she did not tell us anything about what the kids would learn in her class, nothing about projects, nothing about the process at lunchtime, nothing about reading, nothing about math, nothing about social studies, nothing about science, nothing about their electives. SHE TOLD US NOTHING! Well, when she asked the question, I looked around at the other parents to see if anyone was going to begin asking questions…No one did, so I took out my journal and began asking what I believe to be basic questions, that I assumed would have been automatically answered during her open house presentation. What stands out the most is when I asked about what reading and math curriculum she used. Her response was, “I don’t have a curriculum.” I immediately repeated what she said with a scowl on my face. How can she not have a curriculum?! Where is she getting the information to teach my kid?! From that moment I knew that I would have to set up a parent/teacher conference with her to really find out what “curriculum” she uses. I don’t want MJ to be “work-sheeted” to death! I don’t have time for him to be completing meaningless worksheets day after day and not truly learning anything. The conference will be in the next week and I am praying that there is a good outcome to it.
We recently went to the movies to see Teen Titans Go. MJ is a bit obsessed with the TV show: He watches and records all of the episodes all day every day, so we knew that he would definitely want to go see this movie. We planned to see it over a month ago when we first saw the previews for it. We have been to a few movies over the years with MJ. This visit however, was different. We have never seen MJ so hyper and excited to see a movie. He basically made a scene at the concession stand because he thought we were going to be late to the movie. He kept yelling, “Hurry up, hurry up we’re going to miss the movie.” (Even though we had plenty of time) Once we got seated he put on his headphones and watched the previews while eating popcorn. The movie started, MJ started talking, and he didn’t stop! He literally talked loudly throughout the entire film…even yelling at some points. Usually he does talk a little bit but this time it was almost as if he couldn’t help himself. I was so relieved that there were only two other families in there with us. At one point MJ was literally jumping up and down and throwing his body from side to side while in his seat (insert shocked face here). I was literally waiting for someone to get up and complain but they never did. All in all the kids had a great time and enjoyed the movie. Hubby was half asleep and I was stressed out throughout the entire movie (sigh). I needed about 2 hours to recover from this outing but am happy that MJ And his sister enjoyed themselves.
Tried to take a decent pic of them before the movie started. It just didn’t work out lol.
For the last few months we have noticed that MJ only watches the TV with the closed captioning on. We have no idea how he knew what that was or how to use it! All of a sudden we realized that every single show he watches now has the closed captioning feature on. What I notice is that he is reading everything as he is watching the show and I believe it helps him understand and process what he’s seeing more easily. The funny thing is that now my daughter is doing the same thing as she watches television. She says, “mommy I like it!” Recently while watching television with my husband, we both looked at each other and said “closed captioning,” because we could not understand what a particular character was saying lol. He now has all of us using that feature so much more. I’m actually glad that he is using it as he seems to be enjoying his favorite television shows even more these days😊.
I’ve been picking out what MJ wears daily since he was born. As he got older and was able to dress himself (around age 8) we began selecting his clothes then laying the items on the bed so that he could dress himself. About 1 year ago Hubby made me realize that at this point I shouldn’t still be picking out his clothes every day. I agreed with him. I’d been doing it for so long that I forgot that this is a life skill that he must learn to do on his own. For MJ, making decisions is difficult. Unless the choice is McDonald’s or Chick Fil A, he really takes several minutes, maybe even up to an hour to decide on anything else, including whattowear. He gets frustrated and says um, um, um, um, um, 1,237,000 times while continuously pointing at his cheek.
We explain to him that he can select shorts and whatever T shirt he would like. I started out by showing him what shirts and shorts he could select from. He still consistently asks us, “but what should I wear, what shirt, what shorts?” There are days when he can’t decide and because time is not on our side, we end up, again, picking out what he should wear. One day last week, I noticed that he did not ask us what to wear! I went to his room to see him already dressed and putting on his shoes! I was in shock! The funny thing is that his clothes did not match at all lol but I was definitely not going to say anything about that. That didn’t matter at all! I was so proud of him. This summer we will continue to work on this so that he feels confident in selecting the right clothes to wear for any occasion.
Other than the above surprise from MJ, my daughter wanted me to ” make an appointment” with her for a foot massage and gave me a VIP sticker to wear for the day. These little things mean so much to me. I hope everyone has a wonderful Mother’s Day 💕.
I know I can’t be the only one who gets nervous when they see the school phone number pop up on their cell phone! That’s exactly what happened this week. As soon as I saw the school phone number pop up, my mind went to gloom and doom lol! I automatically began thinking, “oh no what happened to my son or daughter?!” Fortunately, it was a call from the principal of the high school we were praying MJ would get into! He informed me that MJ received the school reassignment and that I needed to come in to register him as soon as possible! I was really impressed by the fact that the principal personally called me to let me know this information. I’ve done reassignments before but this is the first time that I received a personal phone call. Thrilled to hear the news, I registered MJ by the end of the week. It hasn’t really hit me yet, that he’ll soon be in 9th grade. It hasn’t even hit me that my daughter will be entering middle school! This upcoming school year is going to be a doozy. Anyway, I received a wonderful email from Marcus’s current speech teacher. We will be really sad to leave her..
Great news, that school has a great ESE program and Marcus will be with his friends. I know the SLP there and will recommend Marcus; although, I don’t think I am ready to see him leave, I love him, he is such a wonderful kid (you told me the day we met) and I will miss him greatly. I will go with them on a field trip to the new school, we will visit the classrooms and other areas, meet the teachers and get familiar with the school. You are also invited to go with us.
It was so nice to receive this email from her and hear how much she loves MJ.
It gave me some much needed peace about the future😊.
I wanted to give you all a short video of MJ at Music Therapy 🎶. I love that he truly enjoys going and I never have to force him out of the house 😁. This children’s ability Center has been amazing!
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from our home to yours!
While rummaging through old files, I found this old picture of MJ. I had to gather paperwork in order to take him to the intake meeting at the new facility. My heart jumped when I came across the paperwork for Mj’s first evaluation at three years old. It brought back so many memories of how I felt at that time. I was scared, confused, angry, overwhelmed and lonely. At that same time I was hopeful and I just knew I loved and wanted to help my little boy. I call it a “hurricane of emotions.” My feelings were like a whirlwind, tossing back-and-forth and around. I sat for a moment- sitting, thinking, reflecting, about the years that have gone by. I am still on a mission to continue helping my son. At times I am still scared and even overwhelmed, but I am so thankful for how far MJ has come. So thankful that he is a happy child. So thankful that he has friends. So thankful that I see him becoming a little more independent as time passes. The intake meeting went very well. They described all of the clubs and activities that they had to offer, as well as offerings for my daughter! As for today, there is no “hurricane of emotions.” I am hopeful…let’s see what’s in store.
MJ 8 years old